THE World Boxing Council recalled the epic victory of Gabriel “Flash” Elorde over world featherweight champion Sandy Saddler on July 20, 1955 in Manila.
The WBC said “The Filipino idol and one of the greatest fighters his country (Philippines) ever produced, southpaw Gabriel “Flash” Elorde defeated lanky American Sandy Saddler, the world featherweight champion by unanimous decision in ten rounds in a non-title bout.
The memorable action took place at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila.
The WBC recalled that “the event was presented by flamboyant promoter Lope Sarreal. The third man in that ring was Jack Sullivan.”
One can never forget the epic battle between Elorde and American Sandy Saddler which even the World Boxing Council recalled in its daily flashback.
That night Elorde stunned the boxing world when he outpointed the world featherweight champion Saddler in a ten-round, non title fight.
It was a fight etched in the memories of many for the sheer gallantry of Elorde against a veteran world champion who was regarded by most as one of the dirtiest boxers in the business.
The late renowned journalist Teddy Benigno didn’t give Elorde a chance against Saddler. When it was over Benigno, in his usual masterful fashion, wrote, “with his legs almost shot from under him … his face a rucksack of welts, cuts and bruises … his eyes mere slits … Elorde would pull that courage from some inner, invisible scabbard and turn the tide.”
Elorde won on the scorecards of all three judges. Referee Jack Sullivan gave Elorde eight rounds and Saddler only one while the two other judges had Elorde ahead by seven rounds to three and eight rounds to two.
Meanwhile, another Filipino boxer, Rex Wa-o suffered a 1st round knockout in a title bout against Orient Pacific Boxing Federation bantamweight champion Takahiro Yamamoto of Japan at the Edion Arena in Osaka.
The power-punching Yamamoto dropped Wa-o, who was ranked No. 12 by the OPBF, early in the opening round with a solid right to the mid-section. The Filipino beat the count and charged after the champion whose defense was impeccable.
Wa-o had to shed seven pounds to make the eight at the official weigh-in and was clearly weakened by the ordeal.
Yamamoto caught Wa-o with another vicious right hand that dropped Wa-o for the second time. The Filipino challenger grimaced in pain and tried to crawl towards his corner, according to Lito de los Reyes of philboxing.com. Despite the appeals of his traner Eric Santig, Wa-o couldn’t continue and he was counted out at 2:28 of the first round.
It was the Filipino challenger’s third defeat against 11 wins, nine coming by way of knockouts. Yamamoto improved to 15 knockouts in 18 wins against four losses.
The question that should be raised is how come Wa-o tipped the scales some seven pounds over the bantamweight limit of 118 pounds. Surely, the Games and Amusements Board should summon both the boxer and his trainer to explain how he was seven pounds over the limit.